Oct 4, 2012 4:00am EDT
presidential debate started with a hand shake and a smile between president obama and his republican challenger, mitt romney. then, it quickly focused on the economy. >> 5 million jobs in the private sector created. the auto industry's come roaring back. and housing has begun to rise. >> i know what it takes to get small business growing again, to hire people. >> reporter: romney was aggressive most of the night. but his comments about the 47% had taken a toll on his campaign. the president never brought up those comments. and romney tried to move past them. >> under the president's policies, middle-income americans have been buried. they're just being crushed. i will not, under any circumstances, raise taxes on middle-income families. >> reporter: the president challenged his rival, saying that romney cannot keep his goal of cutting taxes and not add to the deficit without hurting the middle-class. >> now, five weeks before the election, he's saying his big, bold idea is never mind. >> reporter: other topics included medicare reform and the president's health care reform law. while there wasn'
Oct 2, 2012 4:00am PDT
president obama in polls. and his campaign knows the upcoming debates could be their best chance to turn things around. that's why the candidate has spent many hours practicing. he'll huddle again with advise herbs practicing today. in the mock debates, senator rob portman is playing barack obama. >> he's playing president obama in the mock debates we have. i don't like him very much anymore. >> reporter: as for president obama, he took a break from practice yesterday to visit a campaign office and make a few calls to unsuspecting voters. >> andrea? hi. this is barack obama. how are you? that's right. >> reporter: it was just a brief break for the president, who, like romney, has been rehearsing for days. senator john kerry is playing the role of romney in president obama's practice sessions. the campaign is managing expectations, saying last night, the president is out of practice. the last time he debated was four years ago. and, rob and paula, according to the latest abc news/"washington post" poll, 56% of americans expect president obama to win the debates. mitt romney told voters ye
Oct 2, 2012 4:00am EDT
obama's practice sessions. the president is out of practice. the last time he debated was four years ago. and, rob and paula, according to the latest abc news/"washington post" poll, 56% of americans expect president obama to win the debates. mitt romney told voters yesterday, the debates are about more than who comes out on top. they are a chance for a month-long conversation with the american people. >> managing expectations, as always. tahman bradley, live in washington for us. thanks, tahman. >>> and abc news coverage of the debate begins tomorrow night at 9:00 eastern, 6:00 pacific. keep right here on abc. >>> and there is word this morning of a series of secret meetings at the white house. focusing on the threat from al qaeda in north africa. "the washington post" says the meetings came before the 9/11 attacks on u.s. compounds in libya. during the discussions, the possibility of unilateral strikes against al qaeda targets in that region were reportedly considered for the very first time. >>> and there are plenty of questions to answer about the derailment of an amtrak passenger tr